Title: Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia
Publisher: University of California Press
Book Condition: New
Offers an understanding of how the European avant-garde was formed in dialogue with cultural difference. This book looks closely at the cities of Tunis, Sousse, Hammamet, and Kairouan to flesh out a profound confrontation between European high modernism and the wealth of Islamic lifeways and architecture. Num Pages: 248 pages, 79 color, 46 b/w, 2 maps. BIC Classification: ACXD; AFC; AGB. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 189 x 264 x 20. Weight in Grams: 826. . 2015. Hardcover. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780520283657
Synopsis: Paul Klee experienced his 1914 trip to Tunisia as a major breakthrough for his art: “Color and I are one,? he famously wrote. “I am a painter.? Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia sets the scene for Klee?s breakthrough with a close study of the parallel voyage undertaken in 1904–5 by Wassily Kandinsky and Gabriele Münter, who would later become Klee's friends. This artist couple, then at an early stage in their celebrated careers, produced a rich body of painting and photography known only to specialists. Paul Klee?s 1914 trip with August Macke and Louis Moilliet, in contrast, is a vaunted convergence of cubism and the exotic. Roger Benjamin refigures these two seminal voyages in terms of colonial culture and politics, the fabric of ancient Tunisian cities, visual ethnography, and the tourist photograph. The book looks closely at the cities of Tunis, Sousse, Hammamet, and Kairouan to flesh out a profound confrontation between European high modernism and the wealth of Islamic lifeways and architecture. Kandinsky and Klee in Tunisia offers a new understanding of how the European avant-garde was formed in dialogue with cultural difference.
From the Inside Flap:
"Roger Benjamin is an art historian and field researcher in the very best sense. Thanks to his intense study of sources in archives, libraries, and museums, he counts among the most profound experts on the material in his field. Benjamin?s work not only provides us with a wealth of new knowledge but also helps us better understand the significance that Islamic culture and art held in the paintings of Kandinsky and Klee."—Michael Baumgartner, Head of Collection/Exhibitions/Research, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern
"Roger Benjamin?s study makes us examine again—indeed, in many cases, for the first time—not just those works specific to Kandinsky?s and Klee?s respective journeys to Tunisia, but the lessons of those experiences and cultural encounters for modernist aesthetics as a whole."—Luke Gartlan, Lecturer in Art History, University of St Andrews, Scotland
"Benjamin?s work is fascinating for an anthropologist of the Maghreb because his modest task (one carried out with prodigious erudition) is to gather the sum total of evidence on the conditions under which these excursions to Tunisia took place. His novel kind of postcolonial fieldwork, enriched with photographic documents, presents a persuasive new vision of art history."—François Pouillon, Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris
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